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Should Patient “Satisfaction” Really Be The Standard?

patient excellence, hospital design

When the term “customer satisfaction” made its debut in the 60’s and 70’s it was referencing products and logistics. A satisfied customer was receiving the best possible product and having it shipped to their location faster, cheaper, and more conveniently than their competitors. It was not a customer focused economy until the 80’s. When competition evolved to where companies were able to match products and methods, it was emotional satisfaction that advertisers sought to boost. Now with the internet and people having a clear voice about their choices and what they do and don’t like, satisfaction is like a dirty word. A satisfied customer leaves room for a much better experience by in terms of how the word is used today. In an online buying transaction satisfied would be considered a neutral rating. Today businesses are competing for likes and ratings and new words are describing our experiences where satisfied just says “average.” So why is “satisfaction” still used to describe the patient experience of your hospital when it is used in most social media formats as a neutral rating? Does your multi-million dollar facility exist only to satisfy or do you want excellence associated with your name? Redefining some of the outdated terms associated with the patient experience could go a long way in improving the results of both the patient experience and the surveys creating data.

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